Editor's Note: Daniel R. DePetris is the Senior Associate Editor of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis.
By Daniel R. DePetris - Special to CNN
In one of the most far-reaching and dramatic decisions in the post-Ali Abdullah Saleh era, Yemen’s newly elected president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has ordered the dismissal of several high-ranking loyalists of the previous government.
A total of four governors and three military commanders - two of whom happen to be family members of Ali Abdullah Saleh himself - were asked to leave their posts by the former Vice President, who is attempting to steer Yemen on the path of a successful transition while at the same time protecting his young administration from internal sabotage.
Both of these tasks will be enormously difficult to carry out in full, but with a fresh popular mandate from the Yemeni people last February, President Hadi is using the support to his advantage. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Daniel R. DePetris is the Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Terrorism and Security Analysis. He is currently a research intern with the American Enterprise Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy division.
Just two weeks into Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s young tenure as Yemen’s president, he is confronted with a serious string of military setbacks against the country’s active and ever-powerful al Qaeda affiliate in the southern desert. The VP-turned-President was well aware of how difficult his new job would be, particularly against the terrorists who have been expanding their territorial control over the past year as the former government was trying to salvage its regime. But even last Sunday’s attack was grisly for al Qaeda, which has typically resorted to small arms fire and ambushes against Yemeni soldiers.
The assault was not especially sophisticated in tactical terms, but the damages have nevertheless shaken Yemen’s fractured military to its core. The exact details of the attack have been fluctuating over the past couple of days, but Yemeni military officials have reported that a band of Islamic militants from the southern city of Zinjibar snuck behind the army’s front lines when most of its soldiers were asleep in their tents. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Daniel R. DePetris is a Senior Associate Editor of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Daniel R. DePetris.
On January 15, the residents of Radda - a small rural town 100 miles south of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a - were virtually in a state of siege. The small shops and markets that kept the town’s life afloat were shut down, converted into makeshift military barricades by fighters associated with al Qaeda’s regional-based affiliate, who easily overtook the village from Yemen’s security forces. The mosque - the center of activity in many small villages - became an al Qaeda headquarters, with the group’s black flag erected over the building in a demonstration of firm control.
The Yemeni Government, already fragmented and struggling to progress from the long era of Ali Abdullah Saleh, was powerless to stop the incursion. The Yemeni military promised to assemble reinforcements to re-capture the town and push the al Qaeda militants out of the area, but the mobilization was far too slow for the people whose lives were darkly interrupted. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Daniel R. DePetris is an MA Candidate at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, where he studies security issues. He is an associate editor of The Maxwell Journal of Counterterrorism and Security Analysis.
Around one hundred American Special Forces troops are sitting in their barracks and preparing to start their tour of duty. Sounds like a typical day in the life of a soldier whose country has been extensively engaged in overseas conflicts for the past ten years. The only exception here is that the soldiers are getting ready to deploy to a region that has nothing to do with Iraq or Afghanistan, the two theaters of war that the U.S. military and its allies have grown the most accustomed too. Rather, the area assigned to this small contingent is smack in the middle of the African continent, spread across four countries in the Sub-Sahara—Uganda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic. FULL POST
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